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Russian Civil War Pogroms

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Russian Civil War Pogroms -  The Bolshevik ("October") revolution of 1917 was followed by a civil war and a war with Poland. A large number of Jews, between 50,000 and 100,000 or even 200,000, died in riots and massacres. In the long history of European anti-Semitism, these were probably the largest-scale massacre of Jews to date. Because of the chaos prevailing in that period, and because of the interests of various sides in covering up the violence, the post-revolutionary pogroms are the least discussed and researched, and data about them are scarce.

Neglected Pogroms

The neglect of this period cannot entirely accidental. The Proskurov pogrom, in which about 2,000 Jews were murdered on February 15, 1919, was a horrendous event.Eventually, about 10,000 Jews were murdered in that district. The events are barely remembered by Jews, and certainly not by anyone else whose ancestors were not from that unfortunate town.  Yet at the time, the New York Times wrote:

The first of a new series of events which leave the scope of ordinary pogroms and assume the character of slaughter occurred in a city which will forever be written in letters of blood on the pages of Jewish history. (Jews Slain in Ukraine, New York Times, September 19, 1919, based on an article that had appeared in the Yiddish paper, Der Tog - the Day).

These pogroms were indeed a new and "improved" twentieth century version, which foreshadowed the mass murders of the Holocaust, Armies, rather than disorganized bands, often conducted the massacres, sometimes using machine guns.  One might think that these events were simply overshadowed by the Holocaust, but, for example, the pogroms of Kishinev are quite well documented, though they killed far fewer people.

History of the Civil War Pogroms

Most of this violence was not the "natural consequence" of war, but rather the result of pogroms, aimed specifically at Jews.  It is difficult to get more accurate numbers, or to know how many were murdered because they were Jews, how many died of starvation and disease and how many died fighting in the various armies.

The area of the greatest concentration of pogroms corresponded roughly to the Tsarist Jewish pale of settlement. It included Ukraine, Galicia, Belarus ("White Russia" in the map), Moldavia, Eastern Poland, Easter Romania, and Western Russia. The borders shifted around with the confused fighting.

Map showing the approximate area in which Pogroms took place in 1918-1921

Most of the pogroms and deaths occurred in the Ukraine, for several reasons. The first was that the Ukraine had the largest concentration of Jews in Russia. The second is that the Ukraine was the scene of the bitterest and most prolonged fighting. In addition to the "White" (Volunteer) counter-revolutionary forces of General Anton Ivanovich Denikin, that operated in Greater Russia, and the Soviet Red Army, there were the Ukrainian nationalists of Petliura, and the Polish forces. Several wars occurred in the Ukraine and vicinity between Polish, Ukrainian, "White" Russians (not to be confused with the geographic region of Byelorussia - also called "White Russia) and Soviet troops. Western Russia had been the scene of fighting with the German and Austrian forces, and it held major concentrations of demobilized, hungry, armed and unruly troops. We cannot ignore, as well, the long history of Ukrainian anti-Semitism, going back to the time of Bogdan Khmelnytsky (Chmielnitsky).  

The reasons or excuses for the pogroms were diverse. Everyone hated the Jews for religious reasons. The Poles accused them of being anti-Polish. The Ukrainians hated the Jews first because they were merchants and exploiters (bourgeois) and then because they were communists.

Russian human catastrophes of the twentieth Century tend to have a mind-boggling scale. There was chaos during this period, and afterwards the authorities destroyed or hid whatever documentation existed, though some of it is coming to light following the fall of the USSR.

Extent of the Civil War Pogroms

Regarding the total number of victims, one recent study states:

No statistics were kept, of course, and the numbers put forth in the literature range from 50,000 to 200,000 dead. To these we should add tens of thousands who were maimed, raped, and robbed...(p. 751).

Salo Baron calculated that the number of victims "easily" exceeds 50,000 (The Russian Jew under Tsars and Soviets, 2nd ed. [New York: Macmillan, 1975], 184); Nora Levin gives the figure of 50–60,000 (The Jews in the Soviet Union since 1917, vol. 1[New York: New York University Press, 1988], 49); Shmuel Ettinger estimates 75,000 (in A History of the Jewish People, ed. Haim Hiller Ben-Sasson [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1976], 954); Nahum Gergel ("The Pogroms in the Ukraine in 1918–21," YIVO Annual of Jewish Social Science, vol. 6 [1951], 251) and Sergei Ivanovich Gusev-Orenburgskii (Kniga o evreiskikh pogromakh na Ukraine v 1919 g. [Petrograd: Izdatel'stvo Z. I. Grzhebina, n. d.], 14) both speak of about 100,000 fatalities. Finally, the number of 200,000 victims is given in Iurii Larin, Evrei i anti-Semitizm v SSSR (Moscow and Leningrad: Gosizdat, 1929), 55. See also Richard Pipes, Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995), 112. Gergel considered it possible to document 50–60,000 Jewish dead due to pogroms, but noted that, considering the lack of precise data, the actual number could actually well be twice that figure. The author of a recent study accepts the relatively lower figures (Henry Abramson, A Prayer for the Government: Ukrainians and Jews in Revolutionary Times, 1917–1920 [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999], 110). (footnote, p. 772)   (Budnitskii, Oleg, Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 2.4 (2001) 751-772)

A document by Vladimir Danilenko, State archivist of the Kiev Oblast, which introduces an archive of aid documents related to the pogroms and newly declassified following the fall of the USSR stated;

All in all, in the Kiev province, pogroms took place in 231 populated areas(402 areas around Ukraine), or 57 percent. Some were pogromed several times. In Pereiaslav, for example, every Jewish apartment was visited by Zeliony‘s gangs 20 or 30 times a day. Boguslav was won and lost five times, and each time the change of government was accompanied by plunder and pogroms. The pogroms in Belaia Tserkov were started by Petliura‘s gangs and continued by Zeliony‘s men and Terek Cossacks. Pogroms involved the mass murder of Jews. In Fastov, they killed 1,000; in Belaia Tserkov, 300; in Vasilkov, 110. All in all, according to incomplete data, at least 100,000 Jews were killed in Ukraine in the pogroms.  Undated document: Kiev District Commission of the Jewish Public Committee for Relief to Victims of Pogroms, State Archive of the Kiev Oblast, Fond FR-3050, By Vladimir Danilenko (Hereafter "Danilenko)

Since this estimate may not include other areas of Russia or Poland, it indicates a horrific death toll. 

It is not clear if the above estimates include the pogroms that took place in Poland.

Rulers in the period of the Pogroms

A confusing sequence of coups and counter coups and invasions that beset the Ukraine and Russia and formed the background of the pogroms. These were affected by the Soviet Revolutions, the war with the Central powers and the war with Poland, as well as the fortunes of the Reds and the "White Russians" (the anti-Soviet armies of Denikin and others, not to be confused with "White Russia" - Belarus).

From March 17, 1917, following the Keresnky revolution in Russia, the Ukraine was controlled by the Rada under Semyon Petlyura, which at the time professed to be a progressive government, and in fact enacted legislation favorable to Jews. 

From January 25, 1918, the Rada, under the "Fourth Universal" proclaimed itself independent of Russia, which was attacked by the Soviets. The Ukrainians signed the treaty of Brest-Litovsk as allies of the Central powers. The Central powers occupied the Ukraine, disbanded the Rada, and made Hetman Pavlo (or Pavel or Paul) Skoropadsky, scion of an old Cossack aristocratic family, into the ruler of the Ukraine. This period was characterized by minor disorders and notable enmity to Jews. As can be expected however, the Germans kept order to a reasonable extent, relative to what followed.

In November of 1918, the Central Powers were forced to withdraw and a new government, the directorate, was formed by Petliura. This government was constantly pressed by the Soviet Russians, the Poles and the White Russian "Volunteer" army of Denikin and was eventually absorbed into the USSR. The Reds entered Kiev in February 1919, but were forced to withdraw in the autumn, precipitating a wave of pogroms. 

At the same time, in Western Galicia, the West Ukrainian People's Republic was proclaimed on November 1st, 1918 with its capital in Lviv (Lvov).  This soon united formally with the Petliura government, but faced revolts from the large number of Poles living in the Galicia. They were supported by Poland, and eventually, this territory was overrun by Polish forces. See-saw movements of large forces in 1919 and 1920 helped encourage chaos and destruction.

The 1919 period included of the worst pogroms in the Ukraine area, though later, there were pogroms in Poland as well.

Perpetrators of the Pogroms

As can be expected, nobody wants to take "credit" for the pogroms of the civil war. Viewing all the contradictory claims and taking them at face value, one would have to conclude that the pogroms never took place, since the partisans of each side profess their love for the Jewish people. But the pogroms did, nonetheless, take place.

In Poland, the Polish army took an active part, machine gunning Jews in Lemberg, demanding huge sums of money and destroying and expropriating property.  In Russia, the situation is less clear.  Until the end of 1918, Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky ruled under German-Austrian protection. At the end of 1918, the central powers withdrew from the Ukraine and the Ukrainians formed their own government under Semyon Petliura. In reality, however, their rule was enforced by semi-independent warlords, who often did as they pleased.  Several armies and warlords, leading bands of undisciplined soldiers who were the remains of the disintegrated Russian army, caused chaos.  Then the Red army came, and as the Ukrainian nationalists were forced to withdraw from Kiev they began a wave of pogroms. Then the Reds were vanquished by the Whites for a while, and the White Russians under Denikin and his "associates" likewise carried out pogroms. The first pogrom of the Ukrainian nationalists was evidently carried out by an Ataman called Kosir Zirko, in Avrutch, in the province of Wohlin (Volhynia), against the orders of Petliura and the central government.

Pogroms were also undeniably carried out by forces allied with the Red Army or nominally a part of it. In addition to the major culprits, the leaders of forces that carried out pogroms included a character named Zeleny (or Zeliony) Nestor Makhno, Gergoriev, Struk  and Sokolovsky. These warlords often switched sides and often as not became independent, so that Makhno and Zeleny can be found professing socialism and brotherly love in one period, and reaction and anti-Semitism in another.

It is certain that troops of both Petliura and Denikin and Makhno, as well as troops of other Atamans and occasionally Red Army troops as well, participated in pogroms. It is clear that each side has a political bias in evaluating these events and the role of different factors in them. But eye witness testimony of Jews is also contradictory. For example, this compilation about Makhno has people insisting he was an anti-Semite and others insisting that he was in no way involved with pogroms A possible source of the confusion is that there was another warlord called Mikhno, allied with Zeleny. But at least one contemporary source is pretty definite that Makhno went from being an anarchist to supporting Denikin and thereupon started carrying out pogroms (NYT Jan 2, 1920).

An additional problem in evaluating guilt is that many of the culprits are known to have made speeches and sometimes to have given orders denying anti-Semitism and forbidding pogroms, but often these were hollow or equivocal. Zeleny, who was notorious, stated:

“I am neither a Jew-lover nor a Jew-hater. It is not because of hatred that we do not take Jews into our ranks. We are fighting for freedom and land; with freedom every resident of the Ukraine will benefit, but the land belongs only to the Ukrainians. The Jews certainly cannot take offence at this. The Jew does not need land. The Jew does not want to toil, just as the Jew does not want to fight a war… A Jew needs freedom, and he will get it. Let him do as much business as his heart desires, as long as it is of honest and respectable character. In return for the freedom we will bring to the Jews, they should help us out with money.” (Tcherikover, The Pogroms in the Ukraine in 1919)

And from the same source:

In mid-July, Zeleny’s force attacked Perioslav, carrying out a pogrom which lasted four days. Besides mass robbery, they beat numerous Jews, raped Jewish women, and left 20 dead. After the fourth day, Zeleny issued a command to halt the pogrom and hand over the guilty to the courts. “But,” writes an eyewitness from Perioslav, “nobody believed in the sincerity of this command.” Zeleny spoke out at meetings about peaceful, amicable relations between Jews and non-Jews, all the while poking fun at Jewish commissars who he blamed for taking away work from Ukrainians and for sending Ukrainian bread to Russia by the pound and getting “Kerenskes” (worthless currency) in return.

Ukrainians deny that Petliura had a role in pogroms, It is impossible to make a final judgment, as was pointed out by Professor Yury Shapoval. Petliura's troops undoubtedly did murder Jews in large numbers, but often it was done in direct disobedience to orders from the central government. Petliura was assassinated in Paris, in exile in 1926 by a Jew named Sholom Schwartzbard. He was acquitted on the grounds that Petliura was held responsible for murdering his family as well as other Jews. Prosecution witnesses insisted that Schwartzbard was a Bolshevik agent and that Petliura (also Petlura, Petlyura) was a friend of the Jews. Time Magazine related the testimony of a defense witness:

The most notable witness called, however, was Mile. Haia Greenberg, 29, a curly bobbed-haired nurse. In a soft, low voice, she told of the carnage and rapine ordered by Simon Petlura and of the blood-bathed home of her grandparents. Murmured she:

"I shall never forget the reddened snowsleds, filled with the hacked bodies, going to the cemetery to deposit their sad burden, in a common pit. They brought the wounded to the hospital -- armless and legless men, mutilated babies and young women whose screams became faint as their wounds overcame them."

Then breaking down and sobbing convulsively she screamed: "Oh, no, no! I cannot go on! They are before my eyes!"

"Petlura was responsible. Even Ukrainian officers said so. His soldiers killed our people, shouting his name. One regiment had a band and it played while knives fell on the heads of innocent babies. Petlura could have stopped it, but he wouldn't listen to our pleas." (Time Nov. 07 1927)

General Alekseev, of the volunteer (White Russian) army  equivocally told a Jew who pleaded to stop the pogroms:

'I and all of the high command stand firmly on the grounds of equality for all citizens, and anti-Semitism is foreign to us. So long as I am  head of the Volunteer Army, there will be no anti-Semitism in it...'

'But, of course, history has its weight, and the sentiments formed over the years cannot be overcome at once. (Schechtman, 1932,  Pogromy Dobrovol'cheskoi Armii, 54, quoted in Budnitskii, 2001)  

Denikin likewise told Jews:

Gentlemen, I will be honest with you. I do not like you Jews. But my attitude toward you is based on humanity. I, as Commander in Chief, will take steps to prevent pogroms and other acts of lawlessness and will punish severely those who are guilty. But I cannot guarantee that in the future there will be no excesses. (Kenez, Peter, Pogroms and White Ideology in the Russian Civil War, in Klier, John Doyle and Shlomo Lambroza, eds.  Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History, New York: Cambridge, 1992, p 305).

Petliura made similar ambiguous disclaimers, and both issued orders to their bands not to murder Jews, but the value of such declarations is doubtful, and even if they were sincere, they were not effective.

Jews made various statements in support of this or that army or government. These are often used as "evidence" by revisionists and apologists that their army or government was not anti-Semitic and not involved in pogroms. The value of these statements is dubious.  understood that it would be very unwise to oppose any such force that represented "the government" and which, as far as they were concerned, had overwhelming force at its disposal. We can more or less dismiss various statements of Jewish leaders at the time supporting Petliura, Makhno or Denikin as evidence of any kind. There was indeed a sincere hope by Jews that the Volunteer ("White") army would restore order and some Jews supported this army, just as some joined Petliura.

For example, the Ukrainian forces of Petliura, the Rada government and the Directorate, which overthrew the regime of the Hetman Skoropadsky toward the end of 1918, were welcomed by the Jews. Initially, Shalom Goldman,  a member of the Poalei Tziyon, was a minister in the Ukrainian government. The Jews had high hopes that this government would put an end to the chaos and minor pogroms that characterized the  Skoropadsky government. But then the Ukrainian nationalists began committing terrible pogroms. Goldman found himself out of a job and trying to help pogrom victims. By September, 1919, he was decrying the fate of Ukrainian Jewry as reported in the New York Times. Likewise, the Zionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky anxious to improve the lot of the Jews in the Urkaine and anxious as well to secure legitimacy and recognition for the Zionist cause, concluded an agreement with Semyon Petliura. Petliura did not keep his part of the agreement, and in any case was out of power quite soon. Nestor Makhno was originally allied with the reds and professed liberal ideas. At that time he cooperated with the Jews and protected them. Later, Makhno switched sides and his forces began committing pogroms against Jews. Zeleny (Zeliony or Zelionyi) also switched sides and changed his behavior to the Jews. The simple villagers who told their stories often did not follow these changes in allegiance and therefore the testimonies are confused and contradictory. Ukrainian nationalists and other partisans also make either ignorant or deliberate and cynical use of laudatory testimony like that of Shalom Goldman in order to exonerate their cause and their national heroes of anti-Semitism. 

The Ukrainian government still had in fact, Jewish officials at the end of 1919. In the circumstances, it is apparent that they were deluding themselves and being used. Arnold Margolin represented the Ukrainian government at the Paris Peace Conference. He noted that the Ukrainian government officials included a number of Jews, and "explained" the pogroms, which he acknowledged in a limited way, as follows:

"There is this difference between the pogroms which have unhappily taken place in the Ukraine and those which occurred under the Tsarist regime. Whereas the latter were instigated and connived at by the authorities, the Ukraine Government has steadfastly set its face against the pogroms, and it has had no part in, or responsibility for them. At the time of Petlura's coup d'etat at the end of November, 1918, I myself read, in numerous towns and villages in the Ukraine, proclamations issued by the Government strongly condemning pogroms, explaining to the people that the Jews were fellow-citizens and brothers who were helping in the evolution of the Ukrainian State, and to whom the fullest rights were due. The proclamations declared that pogroms must tend to discredit the Ukraine in the eyes of the civilized world, and those who. took part in them were no friends of their country.

"Unfortunately, after the Bolshevists took Kieff, and disintegration set in among the ranks of the Ukrainian forces, the worst element of the army started pogroms. Once more the Government disavowed them, sentenced the perpetrators to death, expressed their deepest sympa- thy with the Jews and promised the fullest compensation to the sufferers. I must unhappily admit that the last pogroms as to which I have information those of Feb- ruary and March last were very bad, thousands of Jews being killed. They were instigated by criminals, Black Hundreds, and Bolsheviks, who wished to discredit the Ukrainian Government. These events made a deep im pression upon me, and at the end of March I tendered my resignation. I stated that I was aware that the Govern- ment were not to blame for the pogroms, but that, as a Jew, I felt that I could not retain an official position in a country where my brethren were being massacred. My resignation was not accepted, and the Government begged me to continue to give my services at least abroad, and I was appointed as one of a mission of four to represent the Ukraine at the Peace Conference, my colleagues be- ing the former Ministers, M. M. Sidorenko, Paneiko, and Shulgin. The prevalence of pogroms in the Ukraine may be partly attributed to the fact that the Ukrainians, although constituting a distinct political entity, were subject for 250 years to Russia, and have acquired, as an evil inheritance, what I may call the pogrom habit. It is at least a matter for satisfaction that there is no anti-Semitic tendency in the Ukraine Government, which differs in this respect, very notably, from that prevailing in Poland. It is to the progress of democratic ideals in the Ukraine that we must look for the elimination of the evil pogrom element."

In the same document,  The Jewish Pogroms in Ukraine. Authoritative Statements on the Question of Responsibility for Recent Outbreaks Against the Jews in Ukraine,  another Ukrainian Jewish official, Mark Vishnitzer, claims that the Ukraine had a very liberal policy toward the Jews and granted them full rights of self-determination. The document was compiled by "The Friends of the Ukraine," a lobby group, and submitted (evidently to the U.S. government) in 1919. It must be evaluated against the background of the horrendous extent of pogroms taking place in this period.  

The sequence of pogroms

The Ukrainian pogroms began in 1918, and intensified in 1919. Danilenko  claims that a number of Pogroms were committed by what he called the Haidamaki in 1918 (perhaps reference to the Skoropadsky regime), but the pogroms intensified beginning in February 1919.   According to an account published January 13, 1920 in the New York Times,  based on the report of General Jadwin to President Woodrow Wilson,  as many as  29,000 Jews were murdered up to September 9, 1919, before the big pogrom in Kiev. A Jewish group provided a list of 10,712 Jews who had been killed, naming the towns where the pogroms took place. Jadwin described an incident in Fastiv ("Fastow" or "Fastov"), where 400 people were "understood" to have been killed, but it is not clear whether these were the total deaths during fighting between Bolsheviks and Whites, or Jews killed in massacres. As a measure of the uncertainty of the estimates, we may note that Danilenko reported a thousand deaths in Fastov,

We should be wary of schemes that try to make order in the progression of violence. One source (0. V. Kozerod, S.Ya.Briman, A.I. DENIKIN'S REGIME AND THE JEWISH POPULATION OF UKRAINE IN 1919-1920  claims:

There are three periods of pogroms singled out according to their character: 1. The period of the so-called 'quiet' pogroms ( June - July 1919) - Kharkov, Yekaterinoslav provinces. It is characterized by endless raids and assaults in the streets with the purpose of robbing, making violence, and raping women. 2. The period of mass pogroms ( July - August 1919) - the western part of Poltava, the southern part of Chernigov, and the eastern part of Kiev provinces. In those places robberies, as well as partial arsons and chaotic murders took place. 3. The period of slaughter and bloody pogroms ( September - October 1919) - Kiev, Chernigov provinces.

That may be so, but there were certainly pogroms before June. Kenez states in fact that the largest pogrom of all took place in Proskura, in February of 1919, where about 2000 people were murdered.  Kenez, Peter, Pogroms and White Ideology in the Russian Civil War, in Klier, John Doyle and Shlomo Lambroza, eds.  Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History, New York: Cambridge, 1992, p 295 (other sources give larger numbers, but these may be for the entire province or totals fo repeated pogroms). Danilenko, as noted, describes pogroms in 1918 as well as early 1919. 

A New York Times report of April 21, 1921 notes a wave of pogroms in the White Russian district of Gomel in which "thousands" were killed according to the Joint Distribution Committee. The victims who survived were said to number 60,000. In one town, Iutchaydnka, every Jew was killed except two babies. That wave of pogroms was only one of several in that region. In Poland and Galicia, there were extensive pogroms with the active participation of the Polish legionaries and authorities, as well as confiscation of Jewish property by the state and huge fines levied on the destitute population.

Jewish Self-Defense in the Civil War Pogroms

One noteworthy feature of the pogroms both in Ukraine and Poland that repeated itself was that, where the Jews had formed self-defense committees, they were first disarmed by authorities, allowing the irregular troops to carry out the pogrom. In Poland, the legion did not bother with intermediaries often and would themselves carry out the murder of the Jews. In any case, these self-defense committees armed with small arms could have no chance against an army like Denikin's. This pattern was repeated in the Kielce pogrom of 1946.

Tabulations of the Pogroms of the Civil War

Some of the  massacres that took place:

Place Date Number killed Source Remarks
Lemberg Nov 22, 1918 ? NYT June 1, 1919 Lemberg is on the Polish/Ukraine border. The pogrom in Lemberg was the start of pogroms in Poland in Galicia. The NYT article claims 110 towns where pogroms took place prior to June, 1919.
Avrutch Jan 1, 1919 45 NYT, Sept. 19, 1919 First Pogrom under nationalist Ukrainian government, carried out against orders.
Berditchev January 1919 25 NYT, Sept. 19, 1919  
Proskurov Feb. 15, 1919 (and later dates) 5,500 NYT Aug 1, 1921
Midlarsky, 46-47
 
Proskurov was the site of repeated pogroms. It was later renamed Khmelnitzky, appropriately enough. About 10,000 Jews were murdered in one day in the district of Proskurov, This happened on the Sabbath of "Parashat Tetsaveh" which was evidently February 15, a date given by another source. 
Tetiev March 25, 1919 Approx 4,000 Midlarsky, 46  
Pinsk April 5,1919 56 NYT May 2 1919
NYT June 1, 1919
Pogrom accompanied by a massacre perpetrated by the Polish  legion. The Jews were also "fined" 100,000 crowns  A second pogrom took place in May
 Mezhigoriye April 7,1919 100 Tcherikover- Pogroms Ukraine 1919 Two boats (Baroness Ginsburg and Cossack) were attacked on the Dnieper.
 Kureniovke April, 10 20 Tcherikover- Pogroms Ukraine 1919 Kureniovke was a suburb of Kiev; apparently the work of Zeleny.
Vilna April 19, 1919 200 NYT June 1, 1919 Committed by Polish  legion.
Lida April 21, 1919 30 NYT June 1, 1919 Committed by Polish  legion.
Ivankov May 18, 1919 14 Cargas, p. 136 15 raped, 9 wounded.
Dubovo June 17, 1919 800 Midlarsky, pp. 46-47  
Skira June 23, 1919 45 Brown p. 105 35 rapes, many wounded
Perioslav July, 1919 20 Tcherikover- Pogroms Ukraine 1919 Zeleny - included robbery, rapes.
Rizhichev, July, 13 1919 20 Tcherikover- Pogroms Ukraine 1919 Zeleny- included robbery, rapes.
Yustingrad-Sokolovke August, 1919 149 Tcherikover- Pogroms Ukraine 1919 Zeleny- the executions followed extortion of 200,000 rubles.
Pogrebishche August, 1919 350-400 Tcherikover- Pogroms Ukraine 1919 Zeleny or Sokolov's band, Robbery, beatings and rapes. 
Fastiv (Fastov or Fastow) September 9, 1919 400-600 Kozorod & Briman
NYT Jan. 13, 1920
Denikin's army; Denikin only gave orders to end the violence after several days.
Kiev Oct 14-18 1919 "Several Hundred" NYT Jan 2, 1920 The report mentions thousands of "victims"
Podol Oct. 18-20, 1919 "Several hundred" NYT Dec. 12  1919 This may be part of the Kiev pogrom.
Luban, Starobin May 26, 1921 29  NYT Aug 1, 1921  

   The above list is illustrative only. It has not proven possible to compile a definitive list or even one that is representative because the data are too fragmentary.

The New York Times of September 11, 1919 (List Ukrainian Pogroms)  published a list of pogroms announced at the Versailles peace conference by the American  Jewish Committee, taken from a small Odessa publication called Le Temps. These data too are obviously fragmentary and unsystematic and do not include major pogroms such as Proskurov and Fastov, but they give us an idea of the extent and nature of the violence:

Sisavetgrad-- Terrible massacre, bomber with thrown to the cellars where Jewish families had taken refugue; Bokritel -- Massacre continued two days, all the Jews had hidden themselves in their homes where the scoundrels silently massacred them one by one; Kabidievka (in the state of Podolia) -- The whole male Jewish population was assassinated, almost 3000 fatalities, and the Jewish houses plundered; Ostimete - 314 Jews massacred, looting; Tchekassi -- Wholesale massacres; Krivant-- A few killed, plunderings; Mopiac (State of Podolia) -- More than 400 killed and houses loosed; Blori (Jewish agricultural colony) -- The whole Jewish population massacred, only one woman and size children survived; Orkourov -- Total fatalities comprised both sojourning and those dead of wounds about 5,000; Klatciol--Eight dead, pogrom, more than 100 killed; Rovimirod -- 200 Jews killed, pogrom lasted eight days, whole ciy burned; Koovlitch -- The whole Jewish population exterminated; Alexandrovka--Whole Jewish population  exterminated; Viessoli--Half the population massacred; Oumane [Uman ??] -- Terrible pogrom, many victims; Medjiboge -- Whole population massacred; Matouasov -- 70 killed, village burned; Thichelnik--20 Jews killed; plundering; Kadima -- 200 men killed, plundering; Filschtine -- More than 600 killed; Ostrog -- Large number of victims; Nalasine -- About 500 killed; Ivankov -- 15 killed and 10 seriously wounded; Khastchevata -- Large number killed; Lebedine -- Number of victims; Horodischtiche -- 15 killed; Radomsysl-- Wholesale massacres; Bieloozero -- 120 killed; Olgopol -- Massacres and plunderings; Bratzslav -- Massacres; Annapol -- Very bloody pogroms; Vainlarka -- 17 victims; Toultchine --11 victims; Vassilkov - Complete devastation; Teplik -- 100 killed; Smiela -- More than 80 killed; Shpolla --10 to 15 killed; Krementchoug-- Large number killed.

"Massacres have also taken place in the following cities: Zolotenescha, Grelding, Iarmolinetz Smotritsch, Baline, Ourinine, Houssiatine, Balta, Schiraieff, Vekhovko &c." 

Ami Isseroff

March 29, 2009


Synonyms and alternate spellings:

Further Information: pogrom


Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.


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